Fall enrollment down at MSU-West Plains

A total of 1,619 students began classes Monday morning, Aug. 17, the first day of the 2015 fall semester at Missouri State University-West Plains, university officials said.

Last year, 1,928 students were enrolled for the first day, university officials pointed out.

MSU-WP chancellor Drew Bennett said the decrease in enrollment is part of a larger trend. “It is not surprising that our first day enrollment number is down this year, considering that enrollment is projected to be down at almost every two-year college across Missouri,” he said. “Enrollment numbers are not final until the 20th day of class, and we have a few programs that are still registering some students.”

Meanwhile, MSU’s main campus in Springfield reported an increase over last year’s fall semester opening day enrollment, adding that the university “is poised to set another enrollment record when the official census is conducted in September, fueled by significant increase in first-time students.”

MSU’s Springfield campus opened with 20,334 students, a 2.6 percent increase. The number of first-time students enrolled on opening day is 3,194, an increase of 387 students compared with last year.

The campus’s increase in first-time students is the largest since 1987. The number of first-time students is the largest since the university began implementing selective admission standards in 1995. The all-time record for freshmen is 3,747, set in 1989, when the university had only modest admission requirements.


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